By Rich Leffler
7 Steps for Cultivating Business
Professional Mortgage Consulting
Great service and communication build referrals and return business
Mortgage brokers and loan originators have many goals when working with clients,
not the least of which is funding their
loan application. a different goal, how-
ever, should take precedence: creating
customers for life.
after each transaction you complete,
your clients should eagerly give your
name and contact information to anyone
they meet who might soon need a mort-
gage. previous customers represent a
wealth of future business — their own
and that of their friends and acquain-
tances. The truth is, people enjoy telling
other people about professionals who
deliver exceptional service and results.
referrals represent the best market-
ing you can receive. Because of this,
brokers and originators would be wise
to stay in touch with past clients. Those
who don’t risk losing future business.
The following seven tips can help.
2. Annual credit review
Have you ever started to originate a
mortgage only to find a harmful error
on your client’s credit report? Even if
you resolve the issue, it could take as
many as 60 days to fix the credit score.
That could present a serious problem.
The Fair and accurate Credit Transactions act allows everyone one free
credit report each year from each of the
three major consumer reporting agencies. Once a year, send out postcards
to your previous clients. remind them
to order their free credit reports.
One clever way to do this is to send
these postcards just before daylight
saving time. This way, you also can remind them to reset their clocks. In addition, let clients know you would be
happy to review their credit reports
with them. This will give you the chance
to help them uncover errors — and
identify refinance opportunities.
into your planner or calendar along
with a reminder to mail a card a week
Many brokers and originators fail to
achieve these most-basic methods of
staying in touch. Set yourself apart by
never missing end-of-year holiday or
7. Request referrals
Don’t be afraid to tell clients you appreciate receiving referrals. You can’t
expect to receive what you don’t
Set the expectation by asking customers if they would be willing to refer
someone to you after they experience
“After each transaction you complete, your clients should
eagerly give your name and contact information to anyone
they meet who might soon need a mortgage. Previous
customers represent a wealth of future business.”
1. Annual checkup
Each year, you should visit your doctor
for a checkup. If things go well, you’ll
leave with a clean bill of health.
Think of past customers the same
way. Each year, you should meet with
them to make sure everything is OK
with their mortgage.
add each client’s closing date to your
calendar and mail them a handwritten
card annually. Thank them for their business and remind them that it’s time to
schedule their annual mortgage review.
3. Changing seasons
Nobody likes household chores, and
you’re probably not going to do any for
your customers. You can, however, provide some helpful tips.
Once before winter and once before
summer, mail postcards suggesting
things to do in preparation for the coming season. It might not occur to your
customers to place plastic sheets over
windows before winter or to change
filters on air-conditioning units before
summer. By helping them protect their
home, you further cement your place
as a trustworthy professional worthy of
their referrals and future business.
5. Get personal
One of my favorite customers grew loyal
not only because I provided exceptional
service, but also because I recalled his
wife’s name long after his original loan
closed. By recalling that basic piece of
information, I paved the way to a long
and profitable relationship.
This doesn’t mean you need to start
taking classes in memory techniques.
Instead, keep records of such information. Whenever you meet or speak with
a client, write down what you talked
about, including the names of pertinent
people in their lives. You’ll be amazed
how impressed people become when
you draw on this information later.
the quality of your work. By establishing this referral practice early, customers begin to think about who they
might send your way.
When you provide professional service, superb communication and great
loan products, there’s no reason your
clients won’t want to send referrals
The truth is, people want to refer other
people to financial-service providers
they trust. By doing so, they believe
they’re providing a service to their
friends and acquaintances.
By following the aforementioned
tips, you can remain at the front of your
customers’ minds, provide important
insights, and pave a path to ongoing referrals and return business. •
by Rich Leffler
“Turn Mishap into Victory,”
“ 16 Tips for passing the NMLS
Exam,” January 2011
“Shaking the Spell of Damaged
Credit,” March 2011
view these articles and more at
4. Holidays and birthdays
almost everyone appreciates receiving
end-of-year holiday cards. If you know
a customer’s faith — never assume —
feel free to send a religious-themed
card. Otherwise, a nondenominational
holiday card works best.
regardless, the most important
thing is to write and address each card
by hand. The same is true for customers’ birthdays. Make sure to find out
each client’s birthday. Enter them
6. Refer business
Imagine you receive a call from a couple
looking to buy a home in a rural area.
They don’t have a lot of money and
can’t afford a large mortgage payment.
Do you tell them you can’t help?
Your competitors who originate rural-housing loans certainly hope so.
rather than pass up business, commit to learning new mortgage products
regularly. Even if you don’t originate
them, you can at least guide your clients to a trusted partner who does.
Guiding customers to a specialist you
trust is much better than leaving them
to fend for themselves. It also provides the opportunity to foster referral
partnerships with those who originate
loans you don’t.
Rich Leffler, mortgage-education consultant
and instructor, is an award-winning industry
expert and speaker. He excels in customer
service, research, mortgage origination,
training and consulting. He operates professional Mortgage Consulting, through which
he creates and instructs mortgage courses
while helping mortgage businesses train their
employees and grow. He lectures regularly
on compliance issues, mortgage sales and
customer-service strategies that win, and
is available for in-house training, speaking
engagements and seminars. Contact rleffler@
pmcexpert.com or (410) 486-2430.
Brokers should consider using point-of-sale portals that centralize the use of
technology in the following areas:
• pipeline, conditions and document
• status checks
Brokers who don’t use these tools
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risk putting themselves at a competitive disadvantage. This is especially
true considering broker compensation changes, which place even
more value on borrower service.
additionally, some lenders will only
conduct business with originators
who use their tools fully and deliver
Likewise, brokers who want to reach
their full potential should seek lenders
that not only offer the best loan pricing
but also the best technology solutions.
It’s a two-way street, and brokers and
lenders that fail to leverage automated
solutions hurt themselves, their pro-
ductivity and their customers.